The cruise season in the Port of Montréal ends on October 24. During this last week of activity, five ships will cast anchor in the Cruise Terminal with nearly 10,000 passengers embarking or disembarking, ready to explore the city and its attractions.

To mark the end of the cruise season, the media are invited to visit the Port of Montréal to take pictures of three docked ships on October 23, between 8 a.m. and noon. An exclusive tour of the AIDA Bella vessel will also take place.

In 2013, Montréal had an exceptional cruise season with more than 53,000 passengers, an increase of nearly 10% compared to last year. For the first time, the cruise season was uninterrupted from May to October. The fall months remain the most popular, however, due to the colours that light up the trees in the region and offer a unique spectacle.

From October 18 to 24, Montrealers will be able to observe 5 ships in action at the Port of Montréal: the Regatta (650 passengers), the AIDA Bella (2,500 passengers), the Silver Whisper (390 passengers), the Crystal Symphony (960 passengers), and the Navigator (500 passengers).

"In 2012, we estimate that the cruise industry was able to generate economic spin-offs of approximately $14 million for Montréal. These results demonstrate the enormous potential of this niche,” said Yves Lalumière, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal.

“We have big ambitions, and we will do everything we can to make Montréal a world-class cruise destination."

"For three years the cruise industry has been evolving at the Port of Montréal, thanks to the work of our marketing and operations teams, and the support of our partners from the Montréal Cruise Committee,” added Sylvie Vachon, President and CEO of the Montréal Port Authority.

“Cruise passengers were welcomed this year in fully refreshed facilities and by a new Executive Director, and we believe in the extraordinary potential of this sector for the economic development of the city and its international stature."

To best accommodate passengers anchored in Montréal, the Cruise Committee, Tourisme Montréal, and the Port of Montréal recently completed renovations to the terminal. As such, the passenger spaces were improved. Among other things, registration services and the printing of airport boarding passes are now available on site.

The hiring of an Executive Director was also achieved to improve client experiences and facilitate the embarking and disembarking of passengers and their efficient transfer towards the city. A dynamic team engaged in informing travelers is also onsite to provide advice on major attractions and activities.

A brand new microsite dedicated to the cruise industry was recently launched, a virtual window revealing Montréal as a choice port of call. Travelers can discover all kinds of information related to cruise packages, the city, and practical advice for organizing their trips.

Montrealers, travel agents, and members of the tourism industry, meanwhile, can find a wealth of relevant information, including the arrival and departure schedules of ships that ply the waters of the Port of Montréal.